Fall 2013 Newsletter

September 13, 2013

Greetings from the Center for Japanese Legal studies at Columbia Law school. once again, it is time to update alumni and friends on our activities over the past academic year.

The 8x2 Lecture Series In Japanese Law And The CLS-Todai Faculty Exchange Program

This past spring, professors Yasuo Hasebe and Shozo Ota were on campus as part of our ongoing faculty exchange program with the University of Tokyo. in March, the professors gave eight lectures to the Law school community. professor Hasebe, former dean of the University of Tokyo School of Law, is an expert on constitutional law, information law, and jurisprudence. professor Ota’s areas of expertise are law and economics, law and society, dispute resolution, and civil procedure.

“The lecture series by professors Ota and Hasebe continues the two-decade-long exchange of faculty members between Columbia Law school and the university of tokyo,” professor Milhaupt said. “this exchange program has benefitted a generation of American and Japanese law students, and created lasting friendships among our respective faculties.”

Professor Hasebe’s lectures

  • Constitutional Borrowing: the Case of Japan
  • The Supreme Court of Japan
  • Broadcasting regulation in Japan
  • Montesquieu’s Significance for Modern Japan

Professor Ota’s lectures

  • Saiban-in Seido (Jury system) of Japan: people’s expectation and evaluation
  • The economic Crisis and the Law
  • Evacuation process and information Behavior: Can We Mitigate damage through effective evacuation?
  • Handling information in disaster: trust people or avoid panic?

This summer, Columbia Law school sent professors Suzanne B. Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and Merritt B. Fox, Michael E. Patterson Professor of Law, NASDAQ Professor for Law and Economics of Capital Markets, to Tokyo. professor Goldberg's lectures focused on topics in gender and sexuality law with a focus on cutting-edge debates in constitutional and employment law, as well as more basic questions about the U.S. government’s regulation of sexuality and gender. in particular, the talks concentrated on issues related to sex discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment; sex segregation in schools; criminal laws that punish sexual intimacy between adults, and the state’s regulation of marriage. professor fox used his lectures to explore the reasons and implications of share price unpredictability during periods of economic crisis. in addition, professor fox made a presentation on recent developments in u.s. securities law to alumni at the law firm Momo-o, Matsuo & Namba.

NO&T Fellows

Each year the Center for Japanese Legal Studies awards Nagashima Ohno & Tsunamatsu fellowships to newly admitted students with a demonstrated professional interest in Japan. This fellowship plays a key role in helping us recruit the top Japan-focused J.D. candidates in the country. This year five students were awarded fellowships:

Hyun Jee Cho J.D. ’16, graduated from Columbia University with a concentration in international politics. She placed second in the 2010 Japanese Sakubun (Writing) Contest. She has also worked in a variety of Japanrelated positions: As a research assistant with the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University in Japan and at the Center on the Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia University. She was also the associate editor of the Columbia East Asia Review.

Daniel Donadio J.D. ’16, hopes to practice law in Japan, enter diplomacy, or become an academic who specializes in Japanese law upon graduating from CLS. He graduated cum laude with a degree in history and philosophy, with a focus on Japan, from Northwestern University. He studied Japanese intensely at Hokkaido International Foundation in Japan. He also won the Jock McLane Prize for best undergraduate paper in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Northwestern and crowded his schedule with various Japanrelated activities, including the Aikido club, Japanese coffee hour, and Japanese language exchange practice.

Rina Fujii J.D. ’16, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in history and literature, and the history of art and architecture. She also holds an M.A. in the history of decorative arts from the Bard Graduate Center. Rina worked for Gazelle Global coding Japanese consumer surveys and for Nomura Research Institute America. She has also translated documents from Japanese for a number of top law firms in New York. She hopes to apply her deep knowledge of Japanese and American culture to the practice of law between the two countries.

Heita Miki J.D. ’16, was raised in both the U.S. and Japan. He graduated from Dartmouth in 2010 with a degree in Government and a minor in Asian studies. In addition to working at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, he worked for Marubeni-Itochu Steel America, Inc. As an attorney, he hopes to translate the two cultures, easing communication between them.

Simon Wechsler J.D. ’16, intends to work internationally upon graduation, expecting to assist U.S. corporations in both Japan and the U.S. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Japanese language and literature. For his thesis, he translated a 1930s short story collection from Japanese into English. He started studying Japanese at Harvard extension “on a whim” and soon began to travel and work in Japan.

Shapiro Fellowship

Agnes Petrucione J.D. ’14 was last year’s recipient of the Isaac and Jacqueline Weiss Shapiro Fellowship in Japanese Law, which supports student research on Japanese law. Agnes assisted Professor Milhaupt in gathering new materials for his Japanese Law course in the areas of human rights, as well as international law, particularly relating to the ongoing territorial tensions with Japan’s neighbors in East Asia.

Japan Public Interest Fellowship

Daniel Pohlman J.D. ’15, was the 2012-13 recipient of the Japan Public Interest Fellowship. Daniel spent the summer working with Human Rights Now in Tokyo. His work focused primarily on the right to health in the wake of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. He also helped to coordinate fundraising efforts to support “Peace Law Academy,” a human rights training program located on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Additionally, his summer with Human Rights Now gave him the opportunity to observe free legal consultations for individuals affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Visiting Scholars for 2013-2014

Professor Masayuki Murayama of the School of Law, Meiji University, will continue his research into legal responses to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. During the first of his two-year stay at CLS, Professor Murayama conducted extensive comparative research into the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Professor Kayoko Oshima joins us from Doshisha University. Her areas of specialization are constitutional law and the right to education. While at CLS, she will research educational reform and labor conditions of public school teachers in the U.S.

Professor Rikako Watai of Keio University School of Law will also be in residence this year. Her main area of research at CLS is the regulation of foreign direct investment in the U.S. and Japan. Her general areas of interest include foreign investment law and administrative law.

Sake Tasting Fundraising Event

For the third consecutive year, our Japan-focused student group, NHK, held a sake-tasting event to raise funds for disaster relief in the Tohoku area. In April 2013, NHK raised over $700, which they donated to the Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. The event featured different kinds of sake from all over Japan, focusing on the Tohoku region. The Japanese LL.M. students played an especially important role in the event, including acting as MC for the event and organizing a sake-tasting game. The Center provided financial support to defray the cost of the event. The sake was delicious and the event brought together LL.M.s, J.D.s and faculty members in support of a great cause!